Australian rowing champion Sarah Tait has died, aged 33.

The 2012 London Olympics silver-medallist passed away on Thursday morning following a three-year battle with cervical cancer.

“The Tait and Outhwaite families are sad to inform of the peaceful passing of Sarah Tait after a long and hard-fought battle with cancer,” her husband Bill Tait said.

sarah tait

“The families are enormously proud of the positive impact Sarah has made on so many throughout her life, and know she will be dearly missed.

“Bill, Leila, Luca and the wider Tait and Outhwaite families continue to be grateful for the support and love that has been shared with Sarah and them through this difficult time.”

Sarah won a silver medal with Kate Hornsey in the Women’s Pair at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

She was a three-time Olympian, competing in the Women’s Eight at the Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

She was a member of the Women’s Eight which won the World Championship in 2005 and also won silver in the Pair at that regatta.

Sarah was coached by her husband Bill, and at the London Games she was the first mother to row for Australia at the Olympic Games following the birth of their first child Leila in 2009. Her history-making moment was also shared by teammates Dana Falatic and Hannah Every-Hall later in the regatta.

The President of the Australian Olympic Committee, John Coates, paid tribute to her today.

“We are extremely saddened to hear of Sarah’s passing and offer our deepest sympathy to her husband, two children, family and friends.

“Sarah was an extremely talented Olympic rower taken far too soon from us. She battled to the end,” Coates said.

Coates recognises that Sarah was among a remarkable group of female athletes who proved that mothers can not only continue to compete at an elite level but also win medals.

“Amongst her amazing achievements Sarah pioneered change in attitude by Rowing Australia with the introduction of their Family Friendly Policy allowing children of athletes to be reunited with their mums while away for extended periods of time training and competing.

“The legacy she leaves for younger women who would like to pursue both motherhood and elite sport is truly inspirational,” Coates said.


Tait retired from professional rowing in 2014 after being diagnosed with the disease in March 2013.

Our thoughts are with the family.

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  • Cancer is such an awful, non-discriminate disease. Condolences to Sarah’s family and friends.


  • R I P our Prayers and thoughts go to the family


  • Such small children. So very sad.


  • Lke ki


  • So sad. She was so young. Cancer is such a terrible disease, doesn’t matter your age, family or health


  • So sad that she died so young. Awful for her family to lose her through cervical cancer, a horrible disease.


  • Condolences to her family and friends. A life taken too soon. She leaves behind a little daughter too.
    It is very difficult to help a child understand why her Mum is never coming home. I hope Sarah’s family have access to Grief and other counselling for a long as the need it. I hope their friends realise they need support for a few months or a year not just a few weeks. later when everybody stops rallying around is the hardest time to cope.

    • It is a hard time and there is no timeframe on grief.


  • heartbreaking – god bless Sarah and family


  • Such a tough time for her family. It’s awful having cancer


  • How terribly sad – cervical cancer is absolutely awful. Sympathy to the family and loved ones.


  • What a sad moment for her family. Deep condolences!


  • Taken way too soon, what an inspiration though, hopefully her kids will grow up remembering just how great their mother was!


  • My condolences to her family and friends.


  • She’s a great inspiration taken far too soon


  • Sincerest condolences to her friends and family.


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